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Tubes for GES

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
For those who have experience with WA GES which 12ax7 / ECC83 tubes have you tested  and what are your impressions?

I have bought a GES for my SR-009 and the next step will be to find tubes for it..


Which compatible types of the 12ax7 could be placed instead of these?


Thank you



post #2 of 23

Hello Sahara! Congrats on a very nice amp :)

Will copy/paste my response from another thread regarding tubes for the GES;


Personally I am 100% happy with my maxed out GES with the SR-009.


However initially I was a bit underwhelmed by it's performance due to a bit overpowering and slightly flabby bass. This was quickly cured by swapping out the 12BZ7 no-name driver tubes that the GES came with and instead swapping in a matched quad of reissue "mullard" 12AX7. The bass-issue was solved with these tubes but the overall sound appeared a little brittle and thin. Better but not 100% satisfactory. Then I tried a matched quad of NOS matsu****a slanted getter aka "japanese mullards". Huge improvement over the re-issue "mullards"! Much rounder and well-defined mid-range. A smidgeon bright maybe. Next I tried a perfectly matched quad raytheon made for baldwin NOS tubes 62's long black plates.


Audio nirvana! Perfect tubes for me. My search for suitable 12AX7 tubes were over.



As an extra bonus the 12AX7 seems to run colder than the 12BZ7. The gain seems to be lower too though, the maximum comfortable listening spot with the 12BZ7 were at about 10 o'clock and with 12AX7 at around 11 o'clock with the volume knob.



For the power tubes 6S4 I first tried a quad of NOS NIB general electrics tubes instead of the stock no-name tubes. A clear improvement over stock but not as markedly as 12AX7 tube change. Pitch-black backdrop, zero noise compared to a slight hum with the stock 6S4 and slightly better soundstage and dynamics. I tried a matched quad of westinghouse NOS 6S4 tubes afterwards. I could not discern any difference between these two tubes. Both sounded very good so I settled with the westinghouse due to aesthetic reasons. Prettier glow and markings :D




Overall I am very happy with my set-up right now. I am loving the small size of the GES and its looks. I most likely won't change anything within the next 5 years at least. Zero listening fatigue, I can listen and enjoy music for at least 10-16 hours a day which I have also done on several days after completing my headphone rig. Everyone that has listened to my rig has been floored. Even my fiancée who thought I was crazy for spending so much on a pair of headphones thought it was all worth it after she had a listen o2smile.gif

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much for your response, Pettnoff!!


I'm looking for information about the 12ax7 / ECC83 (European version) and the Raytheon seem to be a good choice, also there are good reviews of the Amperex ECC83 O-getter and the Tesla E83CC which seem to be a copy of the hyper expensive Telefunken ECC803s.

Another alternative may be the equivalent of the 12ax7...the 5751, but seem not to have as much gain as the ECC83 although I do not know the percentage, in this case the preferred are the Sylvania 5751 grey plate.

I guess I'll try some models and hope to find nirvana as it has happened to yousmile.gif. In terms of GES, the model is indeed precious and the size is perfect. I'm own the WA2 OTL with the HD800 and the model is identical. It seems a toy amplifier, but it is very good...


Do you know something about the 5751?

Best regards
post #4 of 23

Indeed it is a very sweet amp, love the small size and low power consumption. I've never measured more than 51w from mine, which is way less than the bigger amps which can draw upwards of 200w.


Never did try the 5751 but I was bidding on raytheon 5751 windmill getter which is supposed to be really good. Didn't get the winning bid however, I'd never pay more than 100 usd for 4 tubes. I would reccomend baldwin/raytheon long black plate, stellar performance that doesn't cost too much.

post #5 of 23

The GES should not be used with 12BZ7's as it was never designed to use those tubes.  You can always sub a 12BZ7 with a ECC83 in an circuit designed around them but not the other way around.  Same goes for 5751's, the circuit was never intended to use them and they are not recommended. 


Leaving all the subjective BS aside the JJ ECC83''s are the best money can buy (yes that includes overpriced NOS stuff) when measured so I'd stick with a well matched quad of them.  That's what I'll do in my amp. 


Do remember that if you change the input tubes the amp needs to be re-calibrated.  You really need a function generator and an oscilloscope to do that properly. 

post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you guys for your answers.
I think I am not going to complicate this issue and will choose something like what you recommend. Technical topics and recalibrate the amplifier is something far of my possibilities.I don't want unnecessary scares..

I dont want to pay much for a few tubes. I have seen models of Telefunken ECC803S whose matched quartet costs more than the amplifier itself. I'll look that you have recommended.

Another issue: 6S4.
This tube is unknown for me. What are the models that you have tested? I have seen that price is ridiculous - just 3 / 4€ - so are there some combination of both -power & drive tubes-  which present good synergy?


Any recommendations of confidence to buy them?



post #7 of 23

The 6S4/6S4A were only made by a few manufacturers so not a whole lot of variation there and they have much less of an impact than the input tubes. 

post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Many thanks again Spritzer. I'm going to look for something that suits my needs and possibilities and hope that my "little candy box" offers the desired results.I'll post my impressions when everything is ready.

I have high hopes on this small amplifier. I've read many comments and it seems that the results are great, even many customers prefer it over the bigger  model, the WES.

Edited by Sahara - 12/17/12 at 9:37pm
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Is there some kind of equivalent tubes for the 6S4A ?

I'm trying to find a matched quad and I wonder if there is possible replacement of them by other tube. It is not easy to get this tube on the market.
where have you purchased them?
post #10 of 23

From the Jack's site:






I'm also running some NOS Mullards, but recently I have rolled in some of the Genelex Gold Lion reissues.  I've only listened for a short time but so far they sound very good.  I find them more detailed and open sounding than the Mullards, which are far warmer sounding.

post #11 of 23

There is no substitute for the 6S4A and plenty of sellers have hundreds in stock. 


Edit:  That list is so inaccurate that it isn't even funny. 

Edited by spritzer - 12/23/12 at 4:03am
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you both for your answers.
I've been looking at the complete list and I think that 'NO' on the right side means that no adapter is needed... not that are not compatible.
I note that the 12AX7 is the American nomenclature for European ECC83... which the ECC803S is a model of these and many unknown models for me....
Anyway I have already decided go for a few ECC83 definitely.
I had doubts about the 6S4A which was a tube that I didn't know.

I probably rather clumsy looking for them, but I can not find those sellers...

I keep looking for them but some advices in form of address would help me, ehh!wink_face.gif


Thank you again

Edited by Sahara - 12/23/12 at 9:45pm
post #13 of 23

That's right, the column with "No" it is the adapter column of the full spreadsheet.


What country are you in?

Edited by shipsupt - 12/24/12 at 5:03am
post #14 of 23

Here is another chart of 12AX7 compatibility with a gain factor


If you want to learn more about different 12AX7, here's a good read from aa

Edited by wuwhere - 12/24/12 at 8:55am
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you both for the replies. I have quite decided that I will change the tubes for other ECC83 (12AX7) models because I don't want any kind of risk or modifications in the amplifier.

My question is to know where I 'd buy some 6S4A to replace the originals or having them in case of further problems. I've tried searching some matched quads but I can not find stock somewhere in confidence. Surely there are many sites, but I have to be somewhat clumsy with searcheswink_face.gif
I'm from Spain, shipsupt.
Christmas greetings
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